Wrongful Death Laws in West Virginia
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A death of a loved one is always a tragedy, especially if the death was a result of another party’s negligence or misconduct.
Though no amount of compensation can bring back your loved one, we at Zinda Law Group wish to help you seek compensation in the event of a wrongful death.
What Is a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in West Virginia?
In West Virginia, a wrongful death is a death caused by another person’s wrongful act or neglect. A wrongful death lawsuit is available if the deceased person could have filed a personal injury claim if he or she had survived. However, because the deceased person cannot file a lawsuit, another person must file in his or her place.
Who May File a Wrongful Death Claim in West Virginia?
Only a personal representative of the deceased’s estate may file a wrongful death claim. However, if damages are awarded, many surviving family members may receive a share of the damages.
Family members generally include spouse, children, stepchildren, adopted children, parents, and siblings. However, any family member financially dependent on the deceased at the time of the deceased’s death may be eligible for compensation.
What Damages Are Available in a West Virginia Wrongful Death Claim?
Two general categories of damages are available in a wrongful death claim:
- damages suffered by family members
- damages suffered by the deceased’s estate.
The jury or court will decide if damages are to be awarded and how they will be awarded.
The first category includes monetary compensation for:
- the loss of companionship and the like
- the value of financial support family members would have received if the deceased was still alive
- the value of household services the deceased would have contributed to if he or she was still alive.
The second category includes monetary compensation for:
- the medical expenses related to the deceased’s death
- funeral and burial expenses
- lost wages and benefits.
How Long Do I Have to File a Wrongful Death Claim in West Virginia?
West Virginia’s statute of limitations states that a personal representative must file a wrongful death claim within two years of the deceased person’s death. If the claim is not filed within this time period, the court will unlikely entertain the claim.
However, certain exceptions do exist. For more details, please contact one of our lawyers, especially if you are thinking about filing a claim and the deadline is approaching.
At Zinda Law Group, our personal injury attorneys are highly experienced in dealing with wrongful death claims nationwide. We have the knowledge and resources to help you build the strongest case possible and seek the maximum amount of compensation.
We at Zinda Law Group sympathize with our clients who have lost loved ones due to a wrongful act or neglect of another. No amount of compensation can bring back your loved one, but you can be sure that Zinda Law Group will help you seek the maximum amount of damages from your wrongful death claim.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.